Castle Roland

Everything Will Turn Out Alright

by Cy-Kun


Chapter 11

Posted: N/A

Wanna hear a lame joke?

A man throws a clock out the window, his wife who saw the whole thing asks him "Why did you throw that clock out the window?" the guy answers "I wanted to see time fly."

The joke sucks but the question behind it is one I was very interested in as I sat in my last class before lunch. How do you make time fly? It sure as hell isn't by sitting behind a metal desk in an uncomfortable chair staring at the second hand on a clock while you're waiting for the class to end so you can get to lunch and finally, FINALLY, get some answers that might make sense out of all the weird shit that's been doing on all day.

If I threw the clock would class end earlier?

I doubted it but at that point I was willing to try anything.

Just ten more minutes. That doesn't seem like a lot but when I last looked at the clock, which I will swear under oath was at least 15 minutes ago, I had only twelve minutes to go. I took a quick glance over at Vicky and saw that he was scribbling in his notebook. It looked like he was taking notes but I was close enough to see that he was actually drawing a pretty good picture of Sulu doing body shots off Captain Kirk. I never knew he was that good at drawing. I was impressed.

I was also glad that at least he was occupied instead of staring at this damn clock like I was. Wait, did the second hand just go BACKWARDS? Why does the universe hate me?

I sighed. Nine minutes. I curled my arms on my desk and rested my head in them. I didn't care if I got yelled at. I closed my eyes and went over the events of the day in my head, paying special attention to what happened after we held hands.

It was really weird. Two guys holding hands in the middle of the hallway at school should have gotten some kind of reaction. I mean, with the way things were going I didn't exactly expect anything but that doesn't change how totally, incredibly strange that was. It just made me more determined than ever to find out what the hell was going on.

We held hands all the way to class and despite my uneasiness with everything that was, or wasn't, going on I have to admit I don't think I've ever felt more.....right then I did then. It was a completely artificial set up but just to be able to walk down the hall holding onto my boyfriends hand and not having to worry about being called anything or getting into a fight was probably one of the best feelings I've ever had.

We let go of each other before walking into the classroom. Even though it was probably pointless I wanted to at least try to keep the teachers in the dark as long as possible.

I toyed with the idea of trying to ask Michelle some questions again but quickly decided that was hopeless. I'd get over there and she'd start her nonstop talking or I'd get maybe half my question out and the bell would ring or I'd be kidnapped by alien velociraptors on my way over and subjected to horrible probing experiments.

Hey, with the way things are going today can you blame me for being a tad pessimistic?

So I just went straight to me desk and sat down. Now here I am almost 2,700 ticks of the second hand later (oh yeah, I counted) trying my hardest not to jump out of my seat and run down the hall. Less than a minute to go. Thirty seconds. Fifteen. Ten. It was like my own personal New Year's.







Oh come on! The class is supposed to be over! Three seconds past......five seconds......ten seconds......

The bell rang.

HALLE-FREAKING-LUJAH! I'm so outta here!

I was out of my seat and halfway to the door when I realized I didn't have any of my books with me. I ran back and got them.

I was out the door and starting off down the hall when I realized I didn't have my Vicky with me. I ran back and got him.

Luckily he had his books in his arms because I was dragging him down the hall by his hand and there was no way I was gonna go back in that room a third time. I needed to get to lunch.

"Hey! Slow down! My books are-" There was a loud crash. "-falling." Vicky finished and stopped.

I turned around to hurry him along but when I saw him crouched down gathering up his books and the papers that had fallen out of his binder my boyfriend instincts took over and I got right down next to him and helped him gather everything up. God, he looked so cute gathering up his books.

What? He does!

He had a slight frown on his lips and he was kind of unconsciously chewing on the right side of his upper lip. His hair hung down in front of his eyes and since his hands were busy he would jerk his head slightly to try and move it to the side but it never worked for very long. Even the way he gathered up the books and papers was cute. When he saw me helping him his face lit up with a smile that made my breath catch in my throat. It would never stop amazing me just how much a simple look from him effect me so much. My eyes never left his as I handed him back his books and we stood up.

Why the hell was I in such a hurry again?

"We should probably get to lunch." Vicky said softly, his eyes still locked on mine.

Oh, right. Lunch. "Yeah, we probably should." Neither of us moved though. Suddenly the answers that I'd been so desperate to have didn't seem that important just then. Don't get me wrong. I still wanted to know what was going on but the urgency I'd been feeling, especially last period, was gone.

Well, that's not true, the urgency was still there it just had a different focus. I never would have considered doing this before but I needed Vicky in the worst way and it would be a shame to waste this strange protective bubble we seemed to be in.....

"Lunch can wait." I said and took Vicky by the hand. I didn't drag him this time but I was leading him. I knew he didn't have any idea where I was going but he followed me willingly and never asked a single question. He trusted me perfectly. I don't think I could have wiped the goofy grin off my face if I tried.

First I took him to our lockers so we could put away most of our books and get our lunches. He shot me an incredibly cute, questioning look (he even managed to raise one eyebrow, GOD I've always wanted to be able to do that) but I just smiled at him and turned back to my locker.

When we were done I took his hand again and led him back in the direction we'd just came. We went up two flights of stairs to the third floor and then down another corridor until we came to the door I was looking for. The bell rang as we got there and he gave me another questioning look but I just gave him a reassuring smile, opened the door and gently pushed him inside the bathroom.

I followed after him. He opened his mouth to say something, most likely to ask me why we were here, but he never got the chance. Before the door even fully closed I dropped everything I was holding, wrapped my arms around Vicky and pressed my lips to his. The second our lips met tension that I hadn't even been aware I had fled my body and I melted into him. He stiffened with surprise at first but I quickly heard the sound of his books and lunch bag drop to the floor seconds before his arms slid around my body and pulled me closer to him.

There wasn't any tentative probing or hesitation, our mouths opened as one and our tongues met in the newly opened space. As needy as our kiss was our tongues didn't push roughly against each other as they usually did. Instead they slid sensually over each other as if trying to explore and remember every inch.

My hands slid down his back to his hips and I pulled him closer to me. Vicky let out a small moan into my mouth as our crotches, complete with rock hard erections, ground together. His arms wrapped around me tighter and our kissing got more intense. Suddenly he pulled back and broke the kiss. He didn't let me go though, just looked into my eyes.

"Nate, what if someone comes in?" he asked. There was no indecision or worry in his voice. He didn't sound like he was asking because he was afraid of getting caught he sounded like he was asking me to clear up some minor detail that I'd forgot to mention. I smiled at him.

"No one will. I've used this bathroom before and there's been someone else here less than three times in all those years. Plus we're on the third floor and it's lunch time." I said. The third floor is pretty much used only for non academic classes like art and music, and electives like drama, chorus and A/V. This bathroom was near the elective rooms and since in our school only 7th and 8th graders were allowed to take electives, and this was the 8th grade lunch period, this part of the school was pretty much deserted. "And if someone walks in I don't care. With whatever's going on today no one will do or say anything anyway."

That was all he needed to hear. With his familiar sexy grin he pulled me closer and once again my lips met his. We wasted no time getting right back to where we were. His hands explored my back and shoulders while mind stayed in the general area of his hips, an area that had a lot of interesting things to explore so I wasn't in any hurry to move on.

As we kissed one of his hands moved up past my shoulders, up my neck and into my hair. I shivered. If you have long hair and you've never had someone run their fingers through it lovingly I have only one thing to say to you: try it. It's one of the most erotic things I've ever experienced.

My own hands weren't exactly idle themselves. My left had made it's way around behind him and was now kneading one of his pants covered globes. My other hand traced the waist of his cargo shorts around to the front lightly brushing against the soft skin of first his side and then his stomach. That hand then slowly slid down the front of his shorts, past the button and grabbed his erection through his pants.

This time it was Vicky who shivered.

I couldn't take it anymore. I needed to feel him. I pushed him up against the wall and ground my crotch into my hand, which was still holding onto his boner. Vicky held me tighter. Normally I would have loved being so close to him but our bodies were pressed together to tightly that I couldn't unbutton his pants. Vicky very quickly figured out what I wanted to do and loosened his grip on me slightly. Now I had the space I needed. I fumbled with his button as his hands moved from my back to my chest and.....pushed me away.

"Nate." Vicky said breathlessly. "Wait."

"What?" I asked confusedly.

"We can't do that here." Vicky groaned and unconsciously rubbed his hands over my chest where he'd kept them after pushing me away.

"Why not?" I whined.

He giggled. "Because we're at school. I don't care what weird stuff is going on with us if someone walks in and you're jerking me off I kinda doubt that'll go over well."

"We'll never find out if we don't try." I flashed him a seductive grin and tried to move closer to him again.

"Noooooo!" he said and pushed me away again.

"Alright, alright." I sighed. I knew he was right but logic doesn't mean much measured against getting in Vicky's pants. Still, I couldn't say no to him even when he was the one saying no. "You are so coming over after school and getting naked for me though."

Vicky grinned at me. "It's a date."

As he walked by me to pick up his books and lunch the back of his hand brushed lightly over my painfully hard erection. I groaned and shivered at the brief touch. "That is so unfair." I moaned.

Vicky picked up his stuff and then shot me a way too innocent smile. "What?"

"Don't even try that sweet innocent act on me, kid, I'm wise to your ways." I said as I picked up my own books and lunch.

"Kid?" Vicky stuck his tongue out at me. "I'm 25 days older than you." We walked out of the bathroom together.

In hindsight, probably not the greatest idea to walk out of a secluded bathroom side by side but we were lucky and nobody saw us.

"Ohhh sorry I forgot about that old man. Should I carry your books for you? Don't want you to get overbalanced and break a hip." I said mockingly.

"If I break a hip it'll be because you keep throwing yourself at me and end up crushing it!" He giggled.

"I could do other things to your hips that would crush them." I said suggestively.

Vicky blushed, looked at me through a few stray strands of hair and flashed me a wicked grin. Grrrr so sexy! It is so unfair that someone this hot can be within touching distance and I can't rip his clothes off and have my way with him. Vicky leaned in close to me and whispered "You can try to crush my hips all you want later." He then pulled away and giggled as I tried to position my books to hide my once again raging erection.

It softened up by the time we got to the cafeteria but just barely. Vicky and I didn't talk much after that but all the suggestive, lust filled glances and knowing giggles we gave each other as we walked were more than enough to keep me from going limp. It was only because I made a huge effort not to look at Vicky as we walked down the hall outside the cafeteria that I didn't have to walk into lunch with my pride and joy on display for everyone to see.

It was a good thing too because the second we walked in almost the entire lunch room turned to look at us.

It was like someone knocked over dominos of silence. First the people sitting near the doors stopped their conversation to stare at us then the people around them turned to see why the noise level dropped and then the people around them and on and on until every set of eyes were on us and it got so quiet you could hear the sound of someone THINKING about a pin dropping.

What the hell was everyone staring for? It's not like most of these people didn't see us throughout the day. Us walking into the cafeteria should not have been this interesting. Did they want a speech? 'Hello, thank you guys so much for not kicking our asses'? I was actually a bit unnerved by the whole thing. Almost no one would make eye contact and there was an air of expectation in the room, like at a rock concert in the time between when the lights dimmed and the band played the first notes of the opening song.

Or like in the time between when the executioner raises his ax above his head and when it comes slicing down.

Like before in the locker room Vicky was the one who broke the tension. He let out another exasperated sigh, grabbed me by the arm and started pulling me over to our table. And that was all it took. There was another second or two of silence and all at once the drone of conversation started back up again. I tried to ignore the quick snippets of conversation I heard. I really didn't want to know if people were talking about us.

We must have spent more time in the bathroom than I thought because when neared the table I noticed that the girls were there as well as Jason. There was a gap between Michelle and Erica but I didn't know if they had sat like that from the start or if they moved when they saw us arrive. Either way it was nice of them.

When we reached the table Vicky let go of me and collapsed onto his spot on the bench with another sigh. I sat down next to him, my shoulder touching his in silent comfort.

"I hate this shit." I heard him mutter softly. For some reason it sounded like he was talking about more than just being stared at. I wanted so badly to ask him about it but this definitely wasn't the place to try and start any kind of meaningful conversation.

"Hey, how have you guys been today?" Jen asked with concern.

I sighed. "It's been.....weird."

Vicky snorted. "That's an understatement."

"What's been going on?" Erica asked. "I haven't seen you all day."

"Yeah, where the hell have you two been all day?" I asked, ignoring her question for right now. I'd been waiting all goddamn day for answers and I'll be dammed if I'm gonna start giving before getting. Questions I mean, know. Jesus why does everything I say have some sexual double meaning?

"Oh, I volunteered to help Michelle and the drama club with the scenery for their play." she said offhandedly, like this was something that everybody should already know.

"Wait, Michelle's in the drama club?" I asked and looked at her for confirmation.

"Oh yeah! I love being in plays!" Michelle answered excitedly. "Its, like, totally fun to pretend to be someone else and dance and sing in front of people! Plus there are, like, SO many hot guys in drama."

"You know.....this probably shouldn't have surprised me." I said.

"So come on," Erica interrupted. "Tell me, how was your day?"

I opened my mouth to answer and then froze. There was about the way she asked that question. There wasn't really any curiosity. There was.....anticipation? It was like she was waiting for me to confirm something that she already knew. I took a brief look around the table at everyone else and, with the exception of Vicky, they all had a similar look on their faces. Even Jason. I narrowed my eyes in suspicion. "Ok, what's going on?"

"What?" Erica asked. She wasn't fooling me. I could see her trying to suppress a smile. I may not be the best at figuring out what people are thinking but this was obvious even to me.

"If you have something to say just say it. If it's about what's been happening today then I really need to know because this is driving me crazy." I said.

"Well-" she started but was quickly cut off.

"I get to tell them!" Jason said quickly. "We agreed remember?"

"Tell me what?" I asked impatiently.

I never should have said anything. As much as Jason obviously wanted to tell me what was going on the second he heard my impatient tone the look on his face changed from eager to downright evil.

"That I'm hungry." he said and took a bite of his sandwich. He chewed with agonizing slowness and with every slow up and down movement of his jaw I felt my frustration building up. The little smirk on his face didn't help much either. I was so NOT in the mood for this right now. I'm pretty sure Jason could tell just how not in the mood I was because I stood up, reached across the table, grabbed his shirt, pulled him towards me and glared into his eyes.

"I swear to God if you don't tell me whatever the hell it is you wanna tell me then I'm going to shove that sandwich down your fucking throat." I growled at him.

The entire table went deathly silent. I didn't care. I NEEDED to know what the hell was going on and there was no WAY I was going to put up with Jason's bullshit right now. He had the answers I wanted and goddammit he was going to give them to me!

He stopped chewing and stared at me. I tried my hardest to give him a look that would let him know how completely and totally serious I was about this. I think he got it because he quickly swallowed and smiled weakly at me. "It's rude to talk with my mouth full." he said.

Ok, maybe he didn't get it.

Vicky was the first one to chuckle and after that the floodgates opened. The girls started cracking up and that just make Vicky laugh even more. Even Jason was laughing. All my anger seeped out of me as my shoulders slumped and I sat back down. I didn't join in with the laughing but only because I was trying my hardest to hold it in. There was no way I was going to let Jason have the satisfaction. Satisfaction of what you may ask? No idea. I just know he'd feel good about himself if he saw me laughing right then and as his best friend it was my duty to deny him that feeling.

When everyone finally calmed down and I got my own silent struggles under control I decided to try again. "So, are you gonna tell me now?" I asked with considerably less impatience. I didn't wanna give him an excuse to act like, well, him.

Apparently he doesn't need an excuse though because all he did was smirk and take another huge bite of his sandwich. This time it wasn't me that got physical.

"Jase stop being an ass!" Jen said and slapped him in the shoulder.

For the second time in less than a minute I was fighting to hold back laughter. There's something you may not know about Jason so I think I should fill you in. He HATES being called 'Jase'. I mean totally hates it. It's one of the few things I won't even do to get under his skin anymore. One time he even stopped talking to me for an entire week because I kept calling him that. The only conclusion I could come to for Jason not literally biting her head off when she called him that was that he was completely and utterly pussy whipped.

And that was hilarious.

Jason stopped chewing and immediately shot me a "don't you dare say anything" look. I shot him a perfect imitation of the smirk he'd given me moments before and he got the message. If he stopped being a dick and spilled his guts I wouldn't give him crap about it.

Right then anyway. (Please imagine the most evil laugh you can right now)

Jason swallowed quickly. "Sorry." he flashed Jen an apologetic smile. What the hell did he apologize to HER for? I'm the one that he's been screwing with. I was a deep breath away from making a "whipcrak" sound with my mouth when Vicky spoke up.

"Are you gonna tell us now? This has been bothering Nate all day. Well, me too I guess but Nate's been obsessing over it." he said.

An uncontrollable smile spread across my face. It's still amazing to me how things can be going along so normally and then Vicky will say or do something like this and I'll fill up with feelings of love and affection. It wasn't even anything huge but it showed that he was thinking about me and that he cared how I felt. It was like a drug. An amazing, wonderful drug that had no side effects except making me fall even more in love with the beautiful boy sitting next to me. A soft sigh escaped my lips. I love being loved!

Even wrapped up in my feelings as I was I noticed that everyone at the table was looking expectantly at Jason and I felt my curiosity coming back in full force. Jason took a drink (he was drinking V8, V FREAKING 8! How can anybody drink that crap and not die from the taste?) and cleared his throat.

"Ok, so after we talked in homeroom I went asking around a bit. Well, I would have if Erica and Michelle were in class but as you know they were-"

"Jason?" Michelle cut him off in a sickly sweet tone.

"-at, uh, yeah?" he asked, cocking his head.

"Get to the goddamn point! Like, Jesus how hard is it to tell a simple story?" She huffed.

We all exchanged disbelieving glances but none of us said anything to that.

"Uh, yeah, ok. Um, sorry." Jason said with a sheepish smile. "Alright, Nate, did anything weird happen while you were at the movies last weekend?"

What the...? Why the hell was he talking about that? "Dude, seriously just tell us what's going on. We can talk about our date later if you want." I said.

Jason sighed. "I'm TRYING to!"

"No you're not! You're talking about the movies! Something that has nothing to do with anything that's going on today." I yelled.

"Yes it does!" he yelled back. We were attracting a bit of attention by this point so I made an effort to keep my voice down. It was hard though. There was nothing that happened at the movies that could have had anything to do with why we were being left alone today.......Suddenly an image of the cop that waited outside the theater with us flashed into my mind. That was something weird. And it happened at the movies. And there was no doubt in my mind that he was out there to make sure we were ok? Could he have something to do with this?

"Was there like a cop here or something?" I asked.

"What? No. What do you mean? Why would there be a cop here? Because you almost hit Shawn?" Jason asked thoroughly confused.

"You WHAT?!" Michelle yelled right in Vicky's ear. He winced and flinched away from her.

"You almost HIT someone?!" Erica yelled right into my ear. I winced and flinched away from her.

Jen didn't say anything so I can only guess that Jason already told her what happened in homeroom. That was too bad. He deserved to have his eardrums ruptured more than me or Vicky.

I really didn't wanna talk about this right now. I was so CLOSE to finally understanding what was going on and now everyone was all distracted by something that was over and done with, like, almost FIVE HOURS ago. Stop living in the past, guys!

"It was nothing. He called Vicky a fag and I went to hit him but..." I thought of what Mrs Philips had said and even though I didn't need to worry about getting a suspension if I told them it would cut down on the questions. "....I stopped myself." Jason cocked his head and gave me a questioning look, obviously wanting to know why I lied, but I just shook my head slightly and hoped he'd keep his mouth shut. He did, but not everyone was that quiet.

"You should have hit him." Surprisingly this was from Jen. "He's an ass and he should have got his face punched in." We all stared at her. "What?" she asked defensively.

"It's just weird for you to be the one calling for blood." Erica said.

"Yeah, if anyone should be saying that it should be Vicky!" Michelle added.

"It's ok." Vicky said. "I've been called worse before. It was really sweet of Nate to jump to my defense though." He smiled warmly at me.

I couldn't help but smile back at him. God I would do anything for this boy. Literally anything. It crossed my mind for the first time that if Vicky wasn't as kind and sweet and caring as he was he could have gotten me in a lot of trouble. I mean if right now he told me to walk up to a teacher, slap her and call her a bitch I'd do it in a heartbeat just to make him happy. Kinda scary when you think about it that way but I knew deep in my heart, no in my SOUL, that Vicky would never do anything to hurt me or cause me to get hurt. Do you know what that feels like? To be able to trust one person with everything you are and never once wonder if that trust is misplaced? Trust me, it's one of the greatest feelings you could ever have.

"Awwwww!" Michelle squealed. "They're having a moment! Soooooo cute!"

Vicky's smile turned into a scowl and I glared at Michelle. "We WERE having a moment" I grumbled.

"Thanks Michelle." Erica snapped. "They looked like they were going to hug or something too. Way to ruin that."

"'They' are right here and don't like being treated like animals in a zoo." Vicky said.

"Yeah," I added "we're not your pets."

"Can you just let me finish telling this?" Jason said impatiently.

"Please!" I said and pointedly refused to look at either of the girls.

When no one said anything else Jason continued. "Ok, so, you didn't see anything happen at the movies? Seriously? Nothing?"

"Dude, I don't know what you want me to say. Nothing happened. It was just....the movies." I said.

Jason sighed. "Alright, well, you know who Brian Conners is right?"

"Yeah, of course." I said, still having no idea where he was going.

Brain Conners, for those of you who either don't live here or who do but have been living under a bridge by the highway your entire lives, is THE most popular kid in school. He's played football pretty much since coming out of the womb, he's taller than Jason, his dark blond hair always looks windswept, he has piercing blue eyes and he's more ripped than any 13 year old has any right to be. Before I met Vicky he was one of my main, uh, stalking victims at the pool and the memory of him in a swimsuit gave me more orgasms that I can count. He's also the straightest guy you could ever possibly meet. I don't think there's been a single week since he hit puberty that he hasn't had a girlfriend. He's the kind of guy who could say that he lost his virginity before his dad did and you'd have no problem believing him.

"Well, he was at the movies last weekend too. The same night you guys were. He was there with his gir-"

"Oh my god Jason! You suck at telling stories!" Erica yelled out of nowhere. "Skip Williams was there too and Brian's girlfriend overheard his calling you guys names and she got pissed off and had Brian kick his ass right there in the theater. Word got around that girls really like you guys and now everyone is too scared to do anything to you because they think that girls will get their boyfriends to beat them up. There! That took like ten seconds! Seriously!"

Jason scowled. "I wanted to tell it...."

"Well we gave you a chance!" Erica said and that started an argument about.....something. I don't know. I wasn't paying attention. I was too busy thinking about what Erica said.

Images of that night at the movies came flooding into my head. Waiting in line at the concession stand. A group of kids behind us calling us names, well, actually only one of them said anything. A loud uproar from the front of the theater. People crowding around something or someone. A cop and a few ushers pushing through the crowd. That cop watching over us while we waited to get picked up. Suddenly it all clicked together and started to make sense. If that group of kids walking behind us while we were on line was Skip and his friends and if that uproar was because Brian got into a fight with Skip then when the cop got there someone must have told him what it was about right? That could be why he decided to watch over us. He knew there was trouble before and wanted to keep any more from starting.

It also explained why that basketball guy (why can I never remember anyone's name?) didn't want me to talk to him. It's one thing to make your girlfriend happy by making sure no one picks on the queers but it's a totally different thing to actually have a conversation with one of them. Outside the locker room no less.

I kinda understood, but it still pissed me off.

I mean, is talking to me for five minutes really gonna kill your reputation? You're already "protecting" me or whatever so it's not like people wouldn't expect us to interact at SOME point right? I used to hear about this kinda stuff all the time online or in movies. The gay kid being alone and friendless because no one wants to be seen with him. I never really gave it much thought before, it was just part of the plot to whatever I was reading or watching. Actually I kinda thought it was stupid. If someone needs friends that badly then just go online and make some. Or go to a mall in a different town or something. No need to sit around and whine about it.

As selfish as this sounds though now that it was happening to ME it really did bother me. Not that I needed friends, I'd been doing just fine with Jason all these years and now I had Vicky and I guess Michelle, Jen and Erica, but to have someone not even wanna talk to you because of something you have no control over kinda hurts.

Then I thought about Vicky going through the same thing.

It was a strange feeling. There was anger, of course. I couldn't stand the thought of ANYBODY treating Vicky like a second class citizen or making him feel like crap. But there was also a weird sense of relief at the same time. Relief that no matter what he'd be right there with me going through the same things. Like I said it was a strange feeling.

I slowly came back from my thoughts to find that Michelle and Jen had joined the little argument between Erica and Jason. It sounded like it was more of a playful argument than a serious one but they were into it. I still didn't know what it was about and I still didn't care. I didn't hear Vicky's voice so I looked over at him and he was just sitting there looking at me with his chin resting on his hand and a little smile on his face.

"What?" I asked a bit self consciously.

"I told you I love watching you think." he said as his smile widened.

I returned his smile and felt a slight blush coming on. "And I love when you watch me." I said softly. Then, to keep from grabbing him and kissing him right there in the middle of the cafeteria, I added "So what do you think about all this?"

Vicky's smile turned into a thoughtful frown. "Well, I guess it's nice to know why everyone's being so weird. I don't really like the idea of being 'protected' by a bunch of girls that keep trying to get us to kiss and stuff for them though. Plus what you told your mom was true, this is something we should be dealing with ourselves. We shouldn't be hiding behind anyone."

"I know but I think that ship's sailed now. I mean, the biggest bully in school got punched out because of us....." I trailed off, suddenly remembering something else as a sense of terrible dread spread through me. That look of pure hate that Skip gave me this morning when I got to school. The sheer amount of PERSONAL rage that he seemed to have for me suddenly made sense. He got his ass kicked in front of his friends because of something he said about me....about US! Oh God, it was bad enough thinking about what he might do to me but what about Vicky?!

"Nate, what is it?" Vicky asked with concern. I barely heard him. I just grabbed him by the shoulders and looked into his eyes.

"Vicky, I need you to promise me something. Stay away from Skip. If you see him just turn around and walk the other way ok?"

"Nate I-"

"Promise me!" I pleaded.

He just looked at me for a second and then nodded after seeing how serious I was. "Ok, I promise."

"Thanks." I said and gave him a weak smile.

"OHMIGAWD!" Michelle yelled, apparently done with her 'argument' and completely oblivious to the mood. "I almost forgot! Nate! I've got a surprise for you!" She stood up and took off across the cafeteria.

I sighed. "Great."

Vicky was looking at me. He didn't have much of an expression on his face but it seemed like he was trying to figure something out. I could almost see him give a little internal shrug before he looked away and got back to eating his lunch. I was about to ask him what he was thinking about when Michelle returned dragging some vaguely familiar girl with her.

"Nate! This is Irina!" Michelle said excitedly. "She's part of the surprise."

"Hi?" I said with no small amount of confusion.

"You brought my boyfriend a girl?" Vicky deadpanned.

"He called him his boyfriend." Irina said quietly. "That is so cute, do they do that a lot?"

"Nope. I think that's the first time either one of them said it!" Michelle said excitedly.

"Wait, wait, how is this a surprise for ME?" I asked.

"Well, actually it's kind of for both of you." Michelle said.

"You brought us both a girl?" Vicky asked in the same deadpan tone. "You do know that we're, uh, not exactly into that right?"

Michelle giggled. "Wow, I would have expected Nate to be all pervy like that but not you."

"What?! Why would you expect that from me?" I yelled.

"Well, because Vicky's so sweet." Michelle said like it was the most obvious thing in the world. I could hear Jason chuckle as she said that so I guess he wasn't as wrapped up in his conversation as he seemed. Or maybe he's just wired to always hear everything bad said about me. Ugh.

"So, what's this 'surprise'? Vicky asked as he tried to keep a smile off his face.

"Irina." Michelle said expectantly.

Irina, NOW I remembered her! She was in class? I think. Hey, I have an excuse for not knowing who she was! She's in one of the classes I have with Vicky and if you're in a class I share with Vicky and you're not directly in my line of sight to him then I'm not looking at you. I'm completely serious. I'm not even sure what all of my teachers look like because I spend most class periods staring at Vicky or sneaking stares at Vicky. She was also part of that group of girls that surrounded Vicky and me after school last Friday. She was the one that tried to ask us if we had sex yet. I suddenly had a slightly uneasy feeling but enough about that. As I was saying Irina was pulling something out of her back pocket.

"Ta-da!" Michelle sang out as Irina placed what she had in her hand on the table in front of me.

I sat there staring at a crisp, clean one hundred dollar bill.

Ah, shit.

No, I'm done, this is where I get off. I'm sorry but this just doesn't happen! Well, maybe if this was a poorly written teen movie but this is REAL LIFE. Thirteen year olds just don't have hundred dollar bills and if they do they don't spend it to watch two guys kiss! Oh, yeah, I remembered what I said. I'm not THAT stupid. This is just.....grrrr! Why!?

After realizing that life apparently isn't going to 'pause' no matter how much I don't want to deal with things I sighed and looked around the table. Everyone but Jason seemed to know what was going on here. Jen noticed, whispered in his ear for a few seconds and then he burst out laughing. I glared at him.

"It's not funny." I said. I picked up the bill and held it out to Irina. "Take it back. It's not gonna happen."

"No! You said you two would kiss for us if you gave us a hundred dollars! We have a hundred dollars so you have to kiss." Michelle said.

"Michelle I'm-" I started.

"No, you're doing it." she said with finality.

I looked around the table for some support. Erica was no help, she wanted to see this just as much as anyone. Jen seemed like the whole thing amused her and she gave me a sympathetic smile but I knew she wouldn't take my side in this. Irina just had this sad puppy look on her face that REALLY shouldn't gave gotten to me as much as it did.

I didn't even bother looking at Jason.

My only hope was Vicky. If we both stood firm against this I'm sure we could get them to see reason. Well, as much reason as a teenage girl can see anyway. We looked into each others eyes for a second and then he just shrugged and smiled slightly.

Dammit....I knew that look. It was his "whatever you want is cool with me" look. Last Friday he seemed to be as against this as I was but now he's all 'whatever' about it? I so wanted to be mad at him right then but, well, he's VICKY and by now we all know how me being mad at him works so what was the point of even trying, right? I sighed. This was up to me.

I wanted to reject it out of hand again. I knew that wouldn't work, Michelle would just keep harassing me, but outright rejection seemed to be the only thing I could think of. I didn't even have any excuses as to why there was no way we could do it. Everyone already knew we were together, we'd held hands in the middle of the halls, hell, we were seconds away from having sex in the bathroom not even twenty minutes ago so it wasn't even like we were particularly shy about this stuff. Sure, there was the thing with the teachers but we could easily get around that by going back to that relatively secluded area where they cornered us last time and they did offer to stand in front of us so no one could see. The lack of excuses combined with Irina's hurt puppy eyes (wasn't gayness supposed to come with some kind of immunity to female emotional manipulation? If so, I want my money back) and the fact that I did maybe kinda sorta feel like I should maybe do SOMETHING to thank them for being, even indirectly, involved in me and Vicky not being harassed or beat up ended up breaking down my resistance.

It was just one kiss right? And eventually me and Vicky will probably get to the point where we're kissing in public anyway so it's not like this is something that's private between us forever. It wasn't like we were gonna have sex in the hallway or anything.

And I'd be lying if I said the money wasn't awfully tempting.

Not that the money had anything to do with my final decision. I may be a lot of things but I wasn't about to make myself a whore AND a pimp at the same time. And there was NO WAY I was going to cheapen Vicky by making him my first "employee".

"Fine." I sighed and quickly held up my hand to stall Michelle's predictable squeal. "BUT! There are some ground rules. First, don't advertise this. Only the people at this table are allowed to watch. Second it'll happen after school but only if there are no teachers around. Third," I handed the money out to Irina again. "Take this. I don't want to be paid for doing this."

She hesitantly reached out, like she was expecting me to snap my hand back at any second, and took the money. Michelle was finally able to get her squeal out and pounced on me and Vicky and pulled us close for a very uncomfortable hug.

"Ohmigawd you guys are the best! This is gonna be SO HOT!" she shrieked. "I can't wait!"

"Seriously, this is so cool!" Erica said. "This is like the next best thing to kissing you myself. Oh my God, could I maybe-"

"No." Vicky and I said in unison. He grabbed my arm and held me close, staking his claim. My heart melted at having Vicky 'fight' for me and I knew I had to have another goofy grin on my face.

"Okok! I was just kidding anyway...." Erica said and looked away embarrassed. I sighed. I really hope this fangirl thing doesn't end up getting out of hand.

The rest of lunch was mostly uneventful. Jason, of course, made a whole bunch of jokes about me and Vicky "entertaining our clients" and making sure we "gave them their money's worth." We retaliated by throwing balled up napkins and empty drink bottles at him. Jen eventually put a stop to it when Jason slapped my rolled up lunch bag away and it ended up hitting her in the head. I'd never seen her angry before and to be honest it was pretty damn scary. While Jason was getting an earful me and Vicky exchanged glances that said both "hahaha Jason's in trouble" and "I'm so glad we don't have to deal with that". Of course almost right after we stopped looking at each other Jen started laying into us saying that we were just as bad as Jason and that we needed to stop acting like stupid little kids and grow up. I think I actually saw people three tables away cringing.

Like I said, scary.

Irina also decided to spend the rest of the period with us. Eventually she started to loosen up and she was actually a pretty cool girl. It was obvious that she fit in with the fangirls with the way she would sometimes stare at me or Vicky and how she would giggle or make little noises every time we showed affection for each other but when she wasn't acting like that she was easily the most down to earth girl at the table. I kinda hoped she'd start sitting here more often to offset the craziness of Michelle, the growing perversions of Erica and the scariness of Jen.

Oh and it turns out that she was also Mrs Philips' granddaughter.

It came up towards the end of lunch when Jason decided to tell her about "Nate white knighting the hell out of his little prince" as he put it. He got to the part where I was about to punch Shawn and I cut in saying that I stopped myself before he could tell what really happened. He still didn't know why I wasn't telling the whole truth about the almost fight and looked like he wanted to say something this time but Irina just laughed and said "That sounds like grandma alright." I gave her a shocked look and she explained that Mrs Philips had a habit of doing things like she did with me that morning. Of course everyone at the table overheard this and wanted to know what happened. I sighed and after swearing everyone to secrecy (I didn't think it would do any good, Michelle was part of this group after all, but it made me feel better about telling something that I thought should have stayed a secret) I told the part of the story I left out before. After everyone's surprise and outpouring of praise for Mrs Philips I asked Irina something that had been in and out of my mind all day.

"Why did she do it?" I asked. "I mean, it just seems like there's more to it that her just not liking bigots."

"My uncle is gay." she said. Uncle.....wouldn't that make him....

"Her son?" I asked.

"Yep. My dads brother. He was one of the only openly gay kids in his high school and this was like back in the 70's so he REALLY had it bad. From conversations I've heard over the years it seems like there wasn't a week that went by when he didn't get beat up or made fun of so bad he came home in tears. What made it worse was that his boyfriend was black so he had all sorts of 'forbidden' relationship stuff going on. Grandma spent a lot of time listening to them and trying to comfort them and I guess after so many years of hearing about all the things that they had to go through she just kinda lost all tolerance for any racism or sexism or homophobia or anything like that." She smiled, not quite a sad smile but not a completely happy one either. "She can't even listen to comedians telling jokes about that stuff without shaking with anger and if even a black comedian says the "N" word? Forget about it. She gets PISSED."

Wow, what a sad story. Everyone seemed a bit subdued, even Jason. I didn't even know these people and I felt terrible for them. I couldn't even imagine not only having to deal with that but knowing that your boyfriend was going through the same, if not worse, things and not being able to do anything about it. After she finished talking Vicky's hand found it's way into mine and he rested his head on my shoulder, none of the girls reacted. I wonder if he was thinking the same things I was?

"What happened?" I asked after a short silence. "With your uncle and his boyfriend I mean? Are they....ok?"

Irina laughed. "They're awesome now. They live together in Maryland and they come down for Christmas every year." Her eyes lit up. "Oh my god I can't wait to tell them about you guys! They'll get a huge kick out of the whole 'boyfriend protection' thing you have going on."

I smiled but I felt a bit uneasy about that. I couldn't imagine two people who went through all that would be anything but resentful to hear how easy we're having it. I know that's how I'd feel if the situation was reversed. I squeezed Vicky's hand. I was so very thankful that it wasn't.

I don't know where the conversation would have went from there because like so many times in the past the bell decided to ring at either the best or the worst possible moment. I wasn't sure which this was. It startled all of us out of whatever funk we'd been in and we started to gather up our things. Vicky, Michelle and I were the first ones ready to go so we said goodbye to everyone else and headed for the doors. Vicky and I went one way and Michelle went the other once we left but when she was about ten feet away she shouted back over her shoulder "Remember to meet us after school! If you try to skip out we'll totally find you!" Then laughed and continued walking.

Christ, did she need to shout it out like that?

I heard Vicky let out a small chuckle and I gave him a playful shove. "I dunno what you're so cheerful about. You're gonna be on display too, you know?"

"Yeah but you're the one who's all embarrassed about it." he smiled then leaned in close and whispered in my ear. "It's really cute."

I giggled and pushed against him with my shoulder. "Shut up."

He just laughed and took my hand in his again. We walked together until we reached the part of the hall where it branched off into the two different directions we had to go to get to out next classes. Neither one of us made a move to go.

"Are you sure you're ok with this kissing thing?" I asked. "We can sneak out if you want."

Vicky smiled. "Yeah, you know, I'm actually fine with it." He let out a laugh. "A few days ago I would have been terrified at the thought of kissing you in front of someone like that but now it doesn't really bother me. I still don't like that they're treating us like pets but I don't care that they want us to kiss. I'd kiss you anyway."

And he did. Right there in the hall. It was just a quick peck on the lips but we were in a busy intersection at the beginning of a class change so it wasn't exactly a private moment. My eyes widened in surprise and I took a quick look around to see what people's reactions would be but to my surprise almost no one noticed. It wasn't just the whole 'ignoring us' thing that had been going on, people were just interested in getting from the cafeteria to their next classes more than they were interested in watching us and the few people that did see never said anything. They just averted their eyes and kept on moving.

"Wow." I said.

Vicky started to frown. "Was it wrong for me to do that? If you're not ok with that I'm sorry-"

I pressed my fingers to his lips to cut him off. "I'm totally ok with it. More than ok." I gave him a quick kiss to prove my point. "It just surprised me. You've been kinda.....weird about how people are reacting to us today. I didn't think you'd want to give them a reason to notice us."

Vicky sighed and then gave me a small smile. "I'm ok. It's just, that stuff in the locker room and everyone just staring at us when we walked into the cafeteria brought back a lot of memories from back home. The same stuff happened there and it just gets kinda old going through the same crap twice. Even if this isn't nearly as bad as it could have been." He was kinda making light of it but I knew that it had been bothering him before and to some degree probably still was.

I pulled him in for a quick hug. "Even if it was, you have me now. You know I'd do anything to keep you from experiencing even a second of pain right?"

He hugged me back. "I know, it's one of the reasons I love you so much."

One of these days my heart is going to completely OD on the love I get from Vicky and just stop. I couldn't think of a better way to go. "And you know that if anyone did hurt you I'd kick their ass right?"

Vicky giggled. "Yeah and I'm sure everyone in school is terrified of that. You're soooooo intimidating after all."

"Hey now," I said pretending to be hurt. "I may be small and thin with almost no muscle mass to speak of but I can still make Chuck Norris cry for his mommy."

Vicky giggled again. "He'd cry for his mommy so he could watch her beat you up maybe."

I gave him a shove. "And here I thought you loved me." I said with a fake pout.

"I do." He said seriously as he looked directly into my eyes. See, right there, my heart almost stopped. We stood there staring into each others eyes, transmitting wordless feeling of love back and forth, for maybe two more minutes before Vicky sighed and said sadly. "We should get to class."

"Yeah." I sighed. "Are you still gonna come over after school?"

Vicky grinned. "Of course. I pass by the office on my way to 9th period I'll just stop in and tell them I need to call my dad and tell him I'm gonna go home with you."

"Tell him? You don't need to ask?"

"Nah, he's not coming to get me today anyway so I'd have to ride home with you again. He told me yesterday that I could just go home with you when he doesn't pick me up as long as I let him know I'm going there."

"And you're just telling me this now?"

"Well, I kinda, you know, had other things on my mind today and sorta forgot." he said sheepishly.

"Next time try not to forget anything that could lead to alone time for us ok?" I asked with a grin.

"Deal." He smiled. "But we really need to get to class."

"I know, I know." I leaned in and gave him another kiss. The halls were practically deserted by now so this one lasted a little longer than our previous two. "I'll see you later."

Vicky grinned. "See ya." Then he walked off down the hall.

I sighed happily and started off to my own class. Judging by the near emptiness of the halls I knew I was gonna be late. My 8th period class was all the way on the opposite side of the school from where I was now so it was pretty much impossible for me to get there on time if I went straight from lunch. Luckily, since the entire 8th grade had lunch at the same time, the teacher knew that almost everyone would be late and gave us a five or so minute buffer period to get there before starting class. I was probably gonna miss that too but only by a minute or two. Or maybe more because suddenly that oversized Sunny D bottle that ended up hitting Jason in the middle of his forehead started catching up to me and I needed to pee in the worst way.

I walked as quickly as I could to the nearest bathroom which was in the complete OPPOSITE direction of where I needed to go of course. I couldn't hold it though. Pee urges that came out of nowhere were always the absolute worst.

I finally made it to the bathroom, dropped my books and ran over to the nearest urinal. I frantically unzipped, fished myself out of my pants and let out a relieved sigh as I emptied my bladder. Sometimes finding relief like this was almost better than sex. I felt a grin creep across my face as I thought of sex with Vicky. Ok, never mind, it's not even close.

I was almost finished when I heard movement from one of the stalls. Well, at least I wasn't the only one who would be late for class. I hoped whoever it was wasn't a hand washer. The urinal I was at was right next to the sink and I get super pee shy when someone's next to me. I tried to finish up before he got out just in case but I was still going when I heard the toilet flush.

Damn, hurry up Nate! It's gonna hurt if you cut yourself off!

Yes! Finished! Just in time too because right as I squeezed out the last few drops I heard the door open and the person inside start to walk out. I didn't give it much thought as I stuffed myself back in my pants but the footsteps stopped right behind me. When I heard him speak though I completely froze and I couldn't focus my attention on anything else.

"Hello, faggot." came the cold and unmistakable voice of Skip Williams.

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